2011 Equality Report Card Excerpt: Women in Elected Office

↘ Government promised a Special Committee on the Role of the MLA in the 2008 Speech from the Throne, but the Committee was never struck. The grading criteria for the Equality Report Card set the status quo at a D grade.

↘ According to Women in PEI: A Statistical Profile, research shows that PEI MLAs, 25.9% of whom are women, “spend more time than MLAs in other provinces and territories on constituency duties, which has an impact on work-life balance, and discourages many women from running.” Lack of work-life balance similarly affects male and female MLAs who are parents of young families.

↘ The failure to strike this committee represents several lost opportunities. For instance, the Committee would have provided an opportunity for the Advisory Council to advance advocacy for a code of conduct for elected officials; in fact, information we received from the Legislative Management Committee shows that a similar committee on MLAs’ roles in 1995 did explore ethics and the interpersonal behaviour of elected officials but did not report on discussion or decisions.

→ The Advisory Council respects that the Minister Responsible for the Status of Women played a role in urging that this committee be moved forward. We thank her.

Gender focus and gender-based strategies applied in the Special Committee on the Role of the MLA, to examine and reduce barriers to women in elected office: D

This is an excerpt from the PEI Advisory Council on the Status of Women 2011 Equality Report Card for PEI, released in June 2011 and based on information updated to May 30, 2011. The Advisory Council is republishing one area of assessment each week on this blog. For more information, visit the Advisory Council on the Status of Women website.


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